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Firework Safety

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

The Firework Code and safety tips for sparklers and bonfires

Despite annual safety warnings, at some firework celebrations their are still some injuries that could have been avoided easily.

Fireworks can be great fun for families, not just around November 5 (Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night), but also Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year.

If you’ll be having a firework party at home, you can make the occasion fun and safe for everyone by following the Firework Code, as well as some sparkler and bonfire safety tips.

Firework Code

Only adults should deal with setting up firework displays, the lighting of fireworks and the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used. Children and young people should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance. Follow these top 10 tips for a safer fireworks party:

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable

  2. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time

  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary

  4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back

  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks

  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit

  7. Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them

  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators

  9. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire

  10. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Sparkler safety

Sparklers are often viewed as being harmless but they burn at fierce temperatures, equivalent to a welding torch. Follow these top tips for sparkler safety:

  • It is recommended that sparklers are not given to under-5s

  • Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves

  • Hold sparklers at arm’s length while being lit

  • Don’t wave sparklers about close to other people

  • Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler

  • When the sparkler has finished put it in a bucket of cold water.

Bonfire safety

  • One person should be responsible for the bonfire and children should be supervised

  • Choose a site away from wooden fences, sheds and where children will be playing

  • Never pour petrol, paraffin or meths on to a fire - it’s safer to use fire lighters to prevent flare-ups

  • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of an accident

  • Avoid loose clothing and tie back long hair

  • After the party, pour water on the fire, rather than leaving it to burn out.

Please act responsibly and have consideration for those around you

For veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the sights, sounds and smells of fireworks around Bonfire Night and other celebrations can be an unwelcome trigger for upsetting and frightening memories of conflict.

You can find more information at Shoulder to Soldier.

Find out more


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